To enhance passengers safety and curb criminal activities on board, train coaches will be fitted with automatic door locking mechanism soon.
Under the new system to be controlled by train guard from his cabin, all doors will automatically open when a train arrives at station and close before it departs.
At present, train doors are opened and closed manually.
Incidents of passengers falling off running trains are reported regularly and the problem is acute in the Mumbai suburban section. Falling off trains is the second major cause of death as well, the first being the cases of persons being run over by trains.
“Equipped with automatic door locking system, two Rajdhani and two Shatabdi trains will be operational by April this year as a pilot project,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Later on, the system will be replicated on all trains including suburban services across the country.
According to the official, “Most of the passengers fall or slip from running trains when they struggle to get into a coach and fail to enter it or get dashed against an electric pole beside tracks…There are also cases when many people lost their lives while performing stunts at gates.”
It would cost the railways about Rs 20 lakh per coach to make the automatic system operational.
“Trains will not move unless all doors are closed. The guards will have the command control of the system at their cabins,” the official said, “Drivers will also be given command control at a later stage.”
In the new system, doors will be opened only on the platform side and those of the other side will remain closed, thus eliminating the chances of any unauthorized entry.
The status of all the doors (closed/opened) is indicated in master control panel in the guard cabin.
The new system will also eliminate the chances of passengers getting off a moving train.
The mechanism also provides an audio announcement and visual indication while opening/closing activity of the door is being done.
He said the operation of the closing or opening mechanism will not be completed if obstructions are noticed in the path of movement.